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Determination of Worth
Sun Dec 17, 2006 16:03 (XFF:

The tale was told simply, with no frills or frosting, and the telling of it tugged at Madeline’s heart strings. In some ways, it was as sad as any tale of poverty and hardship and woe. Even worse, it was all too common a tale, at least as far as the nobility went. In the Great Game, children were not gifts to be treasured and loved, they were just pieces on a board. The more power and wealth a family had, the less time they had to concentrate on things like simple kindness and love. Such things simply couldn’t be afforded, not in a game as ruthless as Daes Dae’mar. A game that Aes Sedai had invented.

Diyari’s eyes were fixed on the floor, and she held herself with an air of anticipation. Madeline leaned forward, clasping her hands together.

“Child, let me tell you something. Here, your worth is not measured by your gender, or your position in the family, or who you marry. You were born with a gift, and if you work hard and preserver and show enough strength of character, you can rise farther than your mother or father ever dreamed. An Aes Sedai’s work is far more valuable then the petty trifles that Cairhienin houses concern themselves with. An Aes Sedai fights for the Light in whatever capacity she is best suited for, and that is what will make the difference in the Last Battle, not gold or silks or petty power plays.

“Here, child, you can begin anew. Your old life is over. You are beginning on a level playing field, so that your worth is no more or less than any other novice. Here, a queen in novice whites has no more power than the meanest peasant.”

She tilted her head, eyes narrowing. “You have a strong potential, Diyari. If you work hard, you may go far, and find yourself a life that has far more meaning than any you might have found back in Cairhien. It is not an easy life by any means, of course. You will be pushed to your limits, and then asked to go farther. We cannot accept anything less than your absolute best.”

The girl’s eyes had lifted, now. Honey eyes met pale blue, and Madeline smiled. “Now, then. Let me see.” She rifled through her desk, drawing out a small book inscribed in silver thread with the words ‘Rules, Regulations and Guidelines for the Novice.’

“This is for you to keep, and memorize. That book outlines everything a novice needs to know when it comes to rules. It also describes the lessons, chores, and so on, but you’ll pick that up as you settle into the White Tower. One rule you must know now is that a novice may not channel unless under close supervision of an Accepted or Aes Sedai. Saidar can be dangerous for one who lacks control. It can kill you, and most likely will if you are not properly trained.

“To put it simply, it takes many long years for a woman to learn enough of the Power and of herself to be deemed worthy of the shawl and ring. Your years in novice whites will be spent learning the basics of saidar, the female half of the True Source. You’ll also take lessons on history, politics, philosophy, geography, Tower structure and history, the Ajahs, and so on.

“Just as importantly, you’ll be learning the meaning of humility. To lead, you must first learn to serve. A Novice’s day is filled with chores; serving at meals, washing dishes, scrubbing floors, that sort of thing. You are expected to promptly obey your superiors, meaning both Accepted and Aes Sedai.

“An Accepted is one who has reached the next stage of training in the Tower. When a novice reaches a certain level of strength and maturity, they are given a Test. If they pass, they are given the Great Serpent ring, signifying that they are sealed to the Tower. Accepted are given much more leeway and power. They choose their own lessons, as well as teaching novice lessons. Your first lesson, embracing of saidar, will be taught by an Accepted.

“It takes several more years as Accepted before the shawl can be attained. It is not an easy life, child, and it will take every ounce of will and strength that you have. If you lack the strength or dedication, you will be seen from the Tower as soon as you have learned enough to keep you safe.”

Her eyes flickered to Aranisia. “There is much more for you to know, but for now I will give you time to get settled in. You’ll be given a mentor, someone to help guide you through these first few weeks. You’ve already met Aranisia Sedai, here, so we may as well leave the pairing at that. You’ll have the rest of today to get to know your surroundings, once you’ve been fitted into your novice whites. Your old clothing will be burned, to show that your old life is past and your new has begun.” She gestured to the small stone hanging from Diyari’s brow. “The keseira can be kept for you while you are a novice.”

“Do you have any questions? If not, Aranisia Sedai can show you to your new room.”

  • Small Packaged DeterminationNovice Diyari, Thu Dec 14 11:47
    Dia pulled in a slow, steadying breath as she came to a stop before what was finally, the Mistress of Novices. Her eyes, now bereft of the ability to follow the gentle sway of Aranisia Sedai’s thick... more
    • Determination of Worth — Madeline Sedai, MoN, Sun Dec 17 16:03
      • Cast It All AwayNovice Diyari, Sun Jan 14 11:38
        Dia considered very carefully if she truly did wish to voice any of the myriad of questions bubbling in the back of her mind. Somehow, after listening to Madeline Sedai’s response, it just didn’t... more
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